The Importance of IT Management Tools
IT Management tools play a huge role in the success of outsourced Managed IT. Without adopting software, the operation is not efficient and therefore, will cause headaches between you and your outsourced service provider.
Mike CromwellSo we've gone through the process of defining the assets, documenting and proving process, we've done the same for contacts throughout the organization and vendors. So what comes next?
Brian DeVaultSo now we're going to deploy software tools that are going to help us manage the environment. They're going to help us continue to do that discovery. We'll start with how that works.
Brian DeVaultWe use RMM tools that are SaaS based. So RMM stands for remote monitoring and management. It's a piece of software that's cloud based. It uses agents that we install within the environment to do various things - hardware asset inventory, hardware asset management, system patching, monitoring is one of the key elements of it. So it's going to monitor all of the telemetry that's going on inside that piece of hardware. So things like CPU utilization, RAM utilization, disk space utilization, the health of all the hardware in the machine as it can pull it out of the machine's diagnostics tools.
Brian DeVaultSo the RMM tool goes in, its multitenant of course here. So every one of our customers resides in this environment. But because it's multitenant, it silos out each customer and each customer's data is isolated and secure. It can reach through firewalls, into the network environment and as well into your SaaS environments. So we're going to do things on these external firewalls where we're going to start to monitor, we'll say the ISP link. You'll have a firewall here that sits on the outside of the network.
Brian DeVaultAnd this is true for every branch office that you have, data center that you have, all those things. One of the things we do a little differently is we monitor all the way out to the first hop on the customer's network of the ISP. Hopefully there's multiple ISPs. But what that does for us is it tells us whether the problem resides with this device or whether the ISP has an outage. Ability to diagnose faster for us is really the value prop because we know let's go reach out to the carrier here instead of we're going to dispatch somebody out or call the technical point of contact at the site to verify that the equipment's online.
Brian DeVaultWe know that it's down at that first hop and its a carrier outage. So, as you know, in our in our network operation center, we support tens of thousands of network elements and circuits from telecom service providers. And by doing this, it helps us with that first set of triage tremendously.
Mike CromwellOne of the core benefits of NETRIO at its core and its founding being a outsourced not for service providers. That gives us a leg up in being able to troubleshoot way quicker.
Brian DeVault And that's something that we do that's a little bit unique. I haven't seen it in any other industry. When I mentioned it at trade shows or amongst my peers, everyone's like, wow, that's a really good idea. It's one of those things it's a very simple approach towards that proactive management, but it makes a ton of sense.
Brian DeVaultSo we're defining these customers inside our multitenant environment. We'll say customer A, customer B, customer C, and we're keeping all of these customers' data isolated, right? And from a management perspective, our agents within our managed services organization can go view these independently or these in a big single pane of glass. So what I'm drawing here is kind of the single pane of glass that they use to operate on a daily basis. So this is displayed inside our NOC. So it's up on the wall; one of the monitors that's there. They also use it on one of their PC screens and it's basically relaying the telemetry out of these sensors that are deployed in this department.
Brian DeVaultSo we'll put a sensor here in the SaaS environment. We'll put a sensor here on a mobile device. We'll put a sensor here on a desktop computer. We'll put a sensor on all these assets within the branch office, right? The WAPs, the printer, the conference room peripherals, every one of these LAN switches - we're going to monitor all of that here and then we're rolling it up back to our RMM provider in the cloud and then our RMM provider is drawing us a picture of what all that looks like within the customer's environment. So think about it like a grid. So what you see is each one of those customers assets are depicted inside of these grids. And when you have an asset that goes down, it's going to show up red. So what happens when it shows up red is it's going to alert our managed I.T. Services group by way of creating an incident within our incident management system. They'll see the visual surveillance on the TV, on the alarms, then they see it pop into the queue as a tier one issue that a device is down.
Mike CromwellThat's all built in advance during the onboarding process.
Brian DeVaultCorrect. Mike Cromwell So that when it goes live...
Brian DeVaultWe're ready to support it. So in a normal course of a day, most of these are green. These assets are online. You may have a few that are in Orange State. We'll call that degraded. So this system may not be down, but let's say it's a file server that is running out of disk space. Well, if it runs out of disk space, it's going to be down. But if we proactively go address that and get it from Orange State back to green by clearing up disk space, we've prevented an outage.
Brian DeVaultInside of our RMM tool we say we're defining specific thresholds to say alert us when these systems get to 90 percent of disk consumption or stay at ninety five percent of CPU utilization for longer than three minutes so we can globally define policies about how to run multiple organizations. And then once we go deploy the RMM tool they inherit all those policies that we've applied as part of our best practices. So that's really step three in the deployment process is deployment of the RMM tools some of those are focused on the network outside the firewall, majority are focused on SaaS environments, Office 365, Salesforce, workday, or whatever you're using, and then the land environment inside your offices
Deploying Software Tools
Now that we have gone through the process of defining the assets, documenting, and improving processes, it is time to deploy software tools. The tools are going to help us manage the environment and enable the outsourced provider to continue discovery.
Utilizing RMM Tools
At NETRIO, we use RMM tools that are SaaS based. RMM stands for “remote monitoring and management.” This allows multi-site businesses to centralize all IT support functions at one location.It’s a piece of software that’s cloud-based and uses agents that we install within the environment to complete various tasks. RMM tools that are SAS based are going to monitor all of the telemetry that’s going on inside that piece of hardware. For example, CPU utilization, Ram utilization, and disk space utilization — just to name a few. The remote monitoring enables MSPs to access equipment on the client’s site as if they were actually on site and in the building.
5 Advantages To Utilizing IT Management Tools
- Complete Solution: RMM provides a comprehensive patch management solution in one simple place, ensuring the MPS doesn’t need multiple tools to keep your programs up to date.
- Quick approvals: Manually approve patches in batch across sites, networks, and servers.
- Automation: Auto-approve patches based on the gravity of the issue.
- Scheduling: Allows MSP to set patching windows so the software can be updated without any disruptions.
- Reporting: NETRIO provides clear reports with the help of IT management tools.
NETRIO’s Proactive Management
At NETRIO, we take a proactive management approach. NETRIO was founded on being an outsourced NOC for service providers. This gives us a leg up because we are able to quickly and efficiently troubleshoot quicker than our competition.
Because of this, we are able to define all of our customers inside our multitenant environment and keep each customer’s data isolated. From a management perspective, our agents within our managed IT services organization are able to view these independently. All of this information is displayed for our IT teams in our NOC. We are able to deploy numerous sensors in each environment, and consequently, we are able to roll it all back into our RMM provider in the cloud.
In the NOC, we are able to see all of our customers’ data on a grid. As a result, when you have an asset that goes down, it’s going to show up red. This will alert our managed IT Services group by way of creating an incident within our incident management system. It will then pop into the queue as a tier-one issue that a device is down. This is the NETRIO difference and what really sets us apart from other providers.
Deploying the right software is the natural next step in the onboarding process for IT Management. Once we deploy the RMM tool, the customer will inherit all the policies that NETRIO has applied as part of our best practices.
This blog post is part of NETRIO’s weekly White Board Wednesday series. Follow along on Linkedin and YouTube each week as Brian and Mike discuss use cases, new technology, and trends. The goal is to provide insights for enterprise customers and channel partners, trying to solve complex problems using technology.